Southern Utah News Articles
Coconino County Sheriff's Office arrests suspect for 2003 sex assault case
Coconino County Sheriff’s Detectives arrested 58-year-old David Louis Slade, of Eagar, Arizona, for a sexual assault committed in 2003. Slade has been identified as the suspect in a sexual assault committed just outside Flagstaff through DNA.
In April 2003, the 18-year-old victim had reported an unknown male suspect entered her home at night and held her against her will and sexually assaulted her. The victim had identified and directed detectives to semen left by the suspect. A DNA profile was obtained from the semen, but the suspect was never identified.
In July 2004, a young adult female reported being the victim of a sexual assault at her apartment in Cedar City, Utah. An unknown male suspect had entered her home at night and sexually assaulted her.
Cedar City Police were able to collect biological evidence that was later analyzed and a DNA profile obtained. The DNA profile from both the Coconino County case and the Cedar City case were submitted independently to a database. The database found that the DNA profile from both cases were from the same suspect, but that suspect was unidentified. The cases had remained unsolved.
In March 2019, Coconino County detectives re-submitted the suspect DNA to the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Crime Lab DNA Unit. A request was made to check the DNA profile of the unidentified sexual assault suspect by performing a familial DNA search on samples taken from persons who were either arrested or convicted of qualifying felony crimes.
Through this search, DPS analysts were able to identify two potential relatives of the unidentified suspect. Analysts were able to determine the suspect was related to the two familial samples on the family’s paternal side. The relatives of the suspect had been arrested or convicted of crimes unrelated to the Coconino County and Cedar City case
With the assistance of the Apache County Sheriff’s Office, David Slade was identified as a possible suspect. A DNA sample was obtained from Slade on Friday, December 27, 2019. The sample was delivered to the DPS Crime Lab late that afternoon.
The DPS Crime Lab analyzed Slade’s DNA and on Monday December 30, 2019 reported that Slade’s DNA matched that of the suspect DNA from the April 2003 sexual assault.
On Thursday, January 2, 2020, Coconino County detectives, with the help of the Apache County Sheriff’s Office, the Springerville Police Department and Eagar Police Department, assisted in the location and arrest of Slade.
Slade had an initial appearance before a judge in Apache County where he was released to the custody of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. Slade was transported to Flagstaff, where he is being held at the Coconino County Jail on charges of Kidnapping, Burglary and Sexual Assault.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Arizona Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory for their expertise and expediency in analyzing the biological evidence, and the Apache County Sheriff’s Office, Springerville Police Department, and Eagar Police Departments for their assistance in the location and arrest of Slade.